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Building Partnerships
Engaging the Business Community, Step 2: Your Plan

Related Materials

Document Type Business Basics
A step-by-step guide to building and sustaining business relationships, with examples of previous business partnerships and their benefits for CKF.
File size: 3.1MB

Document Type Benefits Worksheet
File size: 30.2KB

Document Type Glossary of Business Terms
Know the terminology businesses use as you start to engage them.
File size: 39.4KB

Document Type Overview Memorandum
Provides an overview of the children’s health care coverage environment and how a business partner can participate in outreach and enrollment efforts. Customize this document with state-specific information.
File size: 35.8KB

Document Type Corporate Outreach Proposal
A sample proposal designed to help guide you in your outreach to local businesses and corporations.
File size: 40.4KB

Updated: 6.1.06      Printable Printable version

Like every outreach effort, successful business recruitment begins with a look inward at your organization. It is important to examine your organization's goals and resources to determine the most efficient and effective way to incorporate business outreach into your plans. This step will help you determine your business outreach goals and identify resources in advance to help you stay focused and target only the best business outreach opportunities.

Goal setting. Set realistic and manageable goals and keep in mind what you want to accomplish. Look at business outreach in the context of your overall outreach goals for the year. Do you want to recruit a particular business sector or a specific industry? How can business outreach complement your other outreach efforts? How will you measure and evaluate your success?

Resource allocation. Be willing to commit staff and time. It takes dedicated staff to recruit companies and time to develop, implement and reinforce the relationships. You may need additional financial resources for business outreach materials, so you should determine your available resources before you move forward with your business recruiting efforts.

Benefits inventory. Conduct an inventory of the benefits that your organization can offer companies in return for their participation. Examples include media visibility, recognition in materials, an opportunity to speak or be recognized at a media event, volunteer opportunities for company employees, template materials for easy outreach activity implementation, and events that attract potential customers. A benefits worksheet is included in this section to help you create your inventory.

Review your list of activities and consider the following:

Is there a role for a business partner to sponsor an event or outreach activity? Companies are usually interested in opportunities that will raise their profile in the community. Review all of your organization's plans for the year to see if there are opportunities for a company to host or sponsor an activity or event.

Should you offer exclusivity? Exclusivity - the opportunity to be the only company sponsoring an event or activity - is a benefit you can offer if appropriate. A company may also request exclusivity, so be prepared with an answer. Companies are always interested in ways they can distinguish themselves from their competition.

Will your organization allow its name and logo to be used by a company? Remember that your organization's name, logo and reputation have value. Be sure to list "use of program name and logo" as one of the benefits you can offer companies.

Can you use a company location as a venue for one of your events or activities? For example, you may want to kick off your Back-to-School Campaign at a local retail store. There are numerous benefits you can offer a retail store for hosting an event, including media visibility, recognition in media and promotional materials, attracting potential customers to the store, a speaking opportunity at the event, employee volunteer opportunities, and opportunities to provide store coupons or other giveaway items to attendees.

Can you provide a company any of the following opportunities at events or activities during the year?

  • Sampling opportunities. Companies are often interested in distributing product samples at fairs, festivals and other gatherings.
  • Demonstration/display opportunities. Many companies desire booth space at events that provide visibility and opportunities to talk to potential customers.
  • Distribution of coupons and giveaways. Companies are often interested in handing out coupons or giveaway items as incentives to attract families.

What type of signage or other recognition opportunities can you offer a company? Most companies place a high value on visible recognition at events, including banners, signage throughout the event site, and a logo or company name on T-shirts, hats or other promotional materials.

Are there VIPs or celebrities associated with your organization? Companies are often interested in activities that provide opportunities to mingle with local officials, sports figures or other celebrities.

Can a company include business promotional materials in a mailing? A company may be interested in announcing something like a new store opening by inserting information in one of your organization's mailings.

Are there volunteer opportunities you can offer a company's employees? Building an employee volunteer opportunity into your work with a company can be a helpful, and often overlooked, benefit to both parties.

Keep thinking creatively about your work and where there may be points of interest to the business community. Your conversations with prospective companies will also yield additional ideas.

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